Follow us
Mobile
Pin It

Breathe In: The film equivalent of halitosis 

Rating: *1/2

BREATHE IN
*1/2
DIRECTED BY Drake Doremus
STARS Guy Pearce, Felicity Jones

Felicity Jones in Breathe In. (Photo: Cohen Media Group)
  • Felicity Jones in Breathe In. (Photo: Cohen Media Group)

Writer-director Drake Doremus' 2011 effort Like Crazy won the Grand Jury Prize at that year's Sundance Film Festival, even though it was (as I wrote in my original review) "three-quarters twee and one quarter Glee." Breathe In, which Doremus co-scripted with Ben York Jones (as he had Like Crazy), isn't much of an improvement: A film about a May-December romance, it would be laborious to sit through at any time of year.

The Reynolds family — dad Keith (Guy Pearce), mom Megan (Amy Ryan), daughter Lauren (Mackenzie Davis, a promising young actress) — has opened its upstate New York home to Sophie (Felicity Jones), a British exchange student in the U.S. for one semester. Megan does everything to make the young woman (who has just turned 18) welcome, and while Lauren initially balks at sharing her room with another person, she's also as gracious as can be expected. Keith is another matter. A music teacher who longs to land a symphony job full-time so the clan can hopefully afford to move back to New York City, he's nothing but moody around Sophie, and she in turn acts distant to him. While those of us might understandably think they're just sleepy during the moments of their encounters, it's actually a smoldering passion that's developing between them, and soon, the pair have graduated from wistful stares to touching fingers and patting shoulders. The next step is to consummate their relationship, but will the pesky wife and meddlesome daughter interfere with Keith's attempts to recapture his long-gone youth?

It's really hard to care, since Keith is painted not as a middle-aged man suffering from a real existential crisis but merely a guy hoping to score some teenage nookie. While Doremus and his co-scripter receive most of the blame for their characters' failure to communicate with audiences, there's also the fact that Pearce and Jones, while fine individually, have absolutely no chemistry together. The majority of the film is merely a languid affair, but then it adds a series of head-smacking developments (a chance sighting, a car crash) that are as transparent as one's breath in subzero weather.

  • Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Creative Loafing encourages a healthy discussion on its website from all sides of the conversation, but we reserve the right to delete any comments that detract from that. Violence, racism and personal attacks that go beyond the pale will not be tolerated.

Related Films

Breathe In
Rated R · 98 min. · 2014
Director: Drake Doremus
Writer: Drake Doremus
Cast: Guy Pearce, Felicity Jones, Kyle MacLachlan, Amy Ryan, Alexandra Wentworth, Ben Shenkman, Hugo Becker, Lucy Davenport, Brendan Dooling and Matthew Daddario

Trailer


Now Playing

Sorry there are no upcoming showtimes for Breathe In

Latest in Reviews

More by Matt Brunson

Search Events

Recent Comments

  • Re: The Age of Adaline needs more maturation

    • I'd better look into getting glasses. On quick glance, I swore the headline read "...Adaline…

    • on April 24, 2015
  • Re: True Story: I call b.s.

    • I've gotta agree, this is too much a pretend "Feel Good" attempt at a story…

    • on April 17, 2015
  • Re: Tim's Vermeer: Paint by numbers

    • "Jenison decides that Vermeer employed a camera obscura..and sets about using similar techniques and circumstances"…

    • on April 16, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Womack Newspapers, Inc.
Powered by Foundation